Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson says exhausted Aitor Karanka 'sacrificed himself'

Mar 20, 2017, 00:36
Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson says exhausted Aitor Karanka 'sacrificed himself'

Harry Redknapp had a short stint in charge of the Jordan national team previous year and was also made Derby's football advisor for Darren Wassell's spell as interim manager.

Agnew stepped up from first-team coach to the hotseat following Karanka's axing on Thursday, and he took charge for the first time in the 3-1 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday. What we concluded - he and I - was that he perhaps wasn't the guy at this point in time to deliver that change.

However, chairman Steve Gibson may yet decide to leave Agnew at the helm for the final 11 games of the campaign as they look to stave off the threat of relegation back to the Championship.

With Boro now 19th, without a league win since mid-December and having scored only three goals in their last 10 league games, Agnew faces quite a challenge and knows it. "Keeping us up would be the single biggest achievement of my life", he acknowledged.

Karanka said: "I'd like to thank Middlesbrough for a wonderful opportunity and the players, staff and all the people at the club who I have worked with". "I couldn't be more proud of the players, the fighting spirit they showed, and the crowd was top-class". I sit here and I keep using the word "confident", and I do believe we will stay in the Premier League.

'It is a relief to get a goal but the ball has been bouncing, dropping, not quite going in.

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It would be the biggest single achievement of my life.

Although he has been close to Gibson for years, their conversation following Karanka's exit proved brief.

"He is a very good coach, a deep thinker, has loads of experience, knows this club, is a man of integrity and the players trust and like him. He has progressed us and he will have learnt an enormous amount from this experience", Gibson added.

"I've known him a long, long time and he's a smashing lad". He's a very good coach and a very good number two.

"I did not think it was a amusing situation".